ELKO – For the majority of the Thursday’s contest, the Elko girls soccer team dominated the action but it took 56 minutes to begin to pull away from Fallon.
The Lady Indians improved to 6-11 in league play of the Division 3A North with a 2-0 victory over the Lady Greenwave (3-12).
Fallon found the first scoring opportunity of the game, finding an early look from the right side on a ball that missed wide-right.
From that point forward, much of the remainder of the first half was controlled by Elko.
Junior Summer Nielsen fired multiple attempts from a diagonal approach on the left wing, the first booting sailing wide-right and the second being saved by Fallon senior goalkeeper Sam Hines.
Another solid attempt was set up in the middle of the field by senior Brenna Hendrix, who passed to the interior to senior Phoebe Fagoaga.
Her kick was stamped with conviction but also tagged straight toward the goalie.
In the 30th minute, Elko nearly cashed in for the game’s first score.
On a run down the center of the pitch, senior Mackie Griggs charged toward the ball on a pass from the left – Hines also advancing forward.
In nearly-simultaneous fashion, the two met – Griggs popping the ball over a sliding save attempt – Griggs hurdling Hines and finding an open frame.
Griggs late launched another solid attempt from the right wing – her and senior Savanna Carr making solid runs on the sides – but the kick sailed wide of the frame.
In the 34th minute, Elko earned a penalty just beyond the box on a push from the left wide – Hendrix’s kick clanging off the left upright.
Fallon began to flip the field position toward the end of the half, ultimately creating some scoring opportunities.
Senior captain Kenna Hamlin took a long shot from the middle and arched a ball toward the right side of the frame, but Elko senior goalie Hope Garvin caught the ball in the air.
Just as time expired in the first half, Hamlin nailed a line drive more toward the left side of the pitch – Garvin making another save for the Lady Indians.
To start the second half, Elko found chances in abundance.
Griggs and Fagoaga each fired attempts in the first few minutes of the period, balls either missed wide or sent right to the keeper.
The Lady Indians attacked early and often, resulting on numerous corner kicks.
With three boots from the flag in succession, Elko was unable to body, head or kick anything into the frame – Fallon scrambling in the back end.
Junior Amelia Klein recovered on a deflection to Hendrix and stuffed a shot on the right side, junior Aspen Mori clearing a corner kick that sailed over runners to the opposite-left side.
The tides turned momentarily, making a wave to the other end.
Elko lost its contain defensively on the outside, allowing freshman Sydney Gusewelle a clean run down the right side – her kick flying over the crossbar.
Moments later, the same approach worked to perfection on the opposite side.
Freshman Lilly Howard broke free down the left wing, also finding a golden view, her kick also sailing over the frame.
Hendrix ripped a shot toward the Fallon frame from distance and the ball was saved, and sophomore Tayliannah Wright won possession of the ball in the middle and passed to Fagoaga – the kick missing wide to the left.
Garvin made a big save in the 51st minute for the Lady Indians, Hines keeping the game a scoreless affair with a stuff of her own in the 54th minute.
In the 56th minute, Elko worked the ball to the middle and a battle for position resulted in a push – the Lady Indians earning a penalty kick as junior Olivia Smales was knocked to the ground.
She lined up the PK and kept the ball low, lining a shot on the ground to the lower-left side of the net.
Elko took a 1-0 lead.
The Lady Indians began putting more mustard on their shots, Hendrix sailing a free kick over the frame and Nielsen missing wide to the right from long distance.
On a Fallon corner kick in the 73rd minute, the Lady Indians dodged a bullet as the ball was not cleared after multiple deflections – a rebound back toward midfield being shanked wide-right.
The turning point came on another foul by the Lady Greenwave.
Hendrix smashed a direct kick from deep, the ball bouncing off the hands of the keeper and booking a room in the upper-left corner of the frame.
In the 74th minute, the Lady Indians grabbed a two-goal cushion.
Elko went on to win by a final score of 2-0, the final five minutes of the contest playing out with little angst.
The Lady Indians owned the battle of shots, launching 28 kicks while limiting Fallon to 10 attempts.
Garvin finished with six saves for Elko – three in each half – and Hines tallied double-digit stops for the Lady Greenwave with 13 saves.
“The girls played better but still not to their full potential. Mackie and Savanna worked those runs really well in the first half,” said Elko coach Michelle Nicholls. “Brenna’s kicks are so powerful. That’s what helped that ball get through there on the direct kick.”
The Lady Indians will close the season with a 4 p.m. Friday kick versus Lowry, at Adobe Middle School.
Spring Creek defeated Lowry 3-1 on Thursday and will play Fallon at 11 a.m. Friday.